Steps taken to keep area looking good

Overgrown garden
Overgrown garden

Hit squads are to be hired to clean up neighbourhoods and ensure gardens are kept in bloom.

Falkirk Council plans a new initiative to tackle the problem of overgrown grass and weed-filled plots in its 
housing estates.

Young unemployed people will be hired to carry out the work in their own backyards with a team for each of the local authority’s neighbourhood offices.

Announcing the plan, Councillor Gerry Goldie said: “We have some of the best housing stock in the country but unfortunately it is difficult to get some people to take ownership of their garden.

“Hopefully, if we can provide a better environment for tenants and their neighbours then they will take up the 
initiative.”

Last week, The Falkirk Herald highlighted the problem in one Bainsford street where despite some residents taking a pride in their gardens, others in Merchiston Avenue allowed their plots to become overgrown.

One of the properties identified as needing its outdoor space tackled is used by the council as temporary homeless accommodation.

Now it is to look at how people living in such accommodation can be encouraged to keep gardens tidy.

Welcoming the move, Councillor Dennis Goldie said: “I’m delighted to see this brought forward and it is good that a clean up of gardens is planned.

“There always used to be a problem with homeless properties but they are ‘homeless not handless’.”

Councillor Gerry Goldie has also called on the initiative to be taken in to schools to try to get the message home early that people have to look after their properties – inside and out.

He said: “These are our next generation of tenants. Our estates bear no resemblance to 30 years ago and we need to get smarter to ensure that they are brought up to standard and maintained in that way.”